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A sneaky loss

Wildcats suffer last-second setback

Posted: October 3, 2008 10:38 p.m.
Updated: December 5, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Glendora quarterback Drew Kaluzny sneaks into the end zone with seconds remaining to give the Tartans a 28-24 victory over West Ranch at Valencia.

 

A 6-5 receiver is tough to defend at the National Football League level, much less in high school.

That was the case for West Ranch (1-3) Friday, in a 28-24 loss to Glendora.

The first three touchdowns by the Tartans (2-2) were set up by long-range bombs thrown to sophomore B.J. Gonzalez, who at 210 pounds was too big for several Wildcat cornerbacks to cover.

With nine seconds left in West Ranch's homecoming game at Valencia, the Wildcats defense could not finish a goal-line stand. Quarterback Drew Kaluzny scored on a 1-yard sneak on third-and-goal.

"It's a very tough one to lose," said West Ranch head coach Mike Kane. "We were a half a yard away."

West Ranch made one last gasp at a last-second touchdown.

But after receiver Frankie Madero caught a 12-yard pass and made a lateral pitch to running back Ross Bacon, two more Wildcats got their paws on the ball.

Bacon then grabbed it again and ran it from the right side of the field to the left. He was tackled at the Glendora 30-yard line and the game was over.

"It sucks because we have all of our fans here," West Ranch quarterback Jake Bernards said. "The game was half a yard from being ours."

Bernards finished 14-for-20 with 241 yards. His biggest pass was to Madero, who caught a 52-yard pass behind Glendora's zone as he was tackled at the 6. Madero caught five passes for 104 yards.

With 5:06 left in the game, Bacon scored on a 2-yard touchdown, one of two he had in the game. Bacon ran for 171 yards on 22 carries.

"We definitely had something we didn't have last year," Bernards said. "They can't run-blitz all the time. This year they have to respect the pass."

Kaluzny set up his own touchdown with a 9-yard run off a fake handoff to Andre Holmes. Kaluzny ran for three touchdowns and 54 yards on 12 carries.

He went 11-for-14 for 190 yards, including 183 yards on seven passes to Gonzalez.

"Before the snap, Cody our right tackle said, ‘Just follow me' and I did," Kaluzny said.

Kaluzny scored his second touchdown on fourth-and-goal from the 3. He reached out right before he was tackled by a pair of Wildcats and gave Glendora a 21-17 lead.

That score was set up by a 40-yard pass to Gonzalez to the 8. Madero could not gather a pass in the end zone for a potential interception.

A 35-yard field goal by Colin Amsler gave West Ranch a 17-14 lead with 3:54 left in the third quarter.

With 1:10 left in the first half, Holmes scored on a 6-yard option pitch, which was set up by a 41-yard pass to Gonzalez, to tie the game at 14.

"We trusted our corners," Kane said. "Our defense improved tonight. Our offense is doing well."

Bacon's two-yard power run made it a 14-7 WRHS lead with 31 seconds left in the first quarter. Bacon carried the ball for 119 yards on 13 carries in the first half.
Before the last-second lateral play, he ran for 22 yards on eight carries.

Fullback Spencer Ortega scored the game's touchdown with 4:52 left in the first quarter, on a 16-yard run.

Kaluzny tied it on a 1-yard TD keeper with 1:38 left in the first. West Ranch next plays at Los Osos on Friday in Rancho Cucamonga.

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